Today, I want to share with you my "homeschooling testimony."
Twelve years ago when I was pregnant with Precious Girl, I was certain that she would go to school. I mean, that is just what you do, right? You give birth, raise them for a few years and then hand them off to a school. I never thought twice about that. The only decision we consciously made concerning her education was to enroll her in a Christian School.
I was also certain that I would cry and miss her terribly (and I did). In fact, if you had asked me about homeschooling, I would have looked at you funny...I really don't think I had heard of it.
Kindergarten came and went, and she had an absolutely wonderful experience. But Christian School tuition was expensive and Little Man was 2 years old...We prayed and knew that short of bags of money falling from heaven (they didn't) private school wasn't in the budget.
We sent Precious Girl to public school for first grade. I'll admit, we both had some misgivings, but we were determined that we were on the right path. I now was aware of homeschooling but didn't think too highly of it. And then, I made the fatal statement, "I will never homeschool my kids. That's weird." I know, famous last words...
First grade for Precious Girl was a breeze. Her teacher, wonderful. Her classmates, friendly. She was learning and growing well and we had few problems (other than her chattiness during class).
Little Man was going to a friend's house for some preschool classes (she was, after all, a qualified teacher) when Precious Girl began 2nd grade. I had mornings alone (for a few hours anyway) but I honestly don't remember what I did, except throw up...We just found out we were expecting Little One and morning sickness (which is misnamed by the way) was my constant companion. I would walk Precious Girl to the bus stop, come back and throw up, and then try not to throw up in the car to take Little Man to preschool... Those were the days...
Then, we began to notice changes in Precious Girl...
She was moody, withdrawn, not herself...
We tried to brush it off. We told ourselves it was because I was so sick that I was barely functional. But that wasn't the truth...
In November, we went to our parent teacher conference and it forever changed our lives. The teacher opened with "Your daughter is mean and nasty."
I will never forget how time seemed to stop and those words just echoed around in my head... Mean and nasty...she must have the wrong folder...Mean and nasty...not my Precious Girl...I looked out into the hallway and watched her quietly sitting in a chair reading. Somehow I managed not to burst into tears.
Somehow, my husband and I managed to sit through the rest of the meeting. I honestly cannot remember anything else that was said. We had come with a list of questions and ideas and we asked none of them...
I wasn't angry. That came later. I was stunned, shocked and quite sure of one thing - Precious Girl would not step foot into that classroom ever again.
I poured out my heart to God and knew that only he could direct our steps. As I laid on my bed a few nights later exhausted and defeated, I knew with a quiet certainty that we should homeschool. And soon so did my husband. Only God could change both of our hearts simultaneously. That was a miracle!
It took the rest of 2nd grade at home to restore Precious Girl to the bright, happy child that she had been. Little One joined our family just before the end of our first homeschooling year, and we've never looked back.
While I have fantasized (on those really tough days) about putting my little cherubs on the school bus and waving goodbye, I know that is not right for our family, at least not now.
So, now we homeschool. And, no, I haven't started making my own bread (just pizza crust) or sewing our clothing (*wink*). And, no we haven't become really weird (at least I don't think so). My kids are socialized just fine and we do work very hard in our little classroom.
I don't worry about next year, or ninth grade or senior year. I take one day at a time. Each day his mercies are new, and I am so thankful.
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